Sta. Lucia In Semis Again

2016 PCBL Chairman's Cup     MARIKINA CITY – Sixth seed Santa Lucia Realty completed a major upset of third seed Biyaheng SCTEX, 80-73, and advance to the quarterfinals of the 2016 Pilipinas Commercial Basketball League (PCBL) Chairman’s Cup at the Marikina Sports Center Wednesday (May 11).  The Realtors clinched the best-of-three series, 2-1, winning the last two games after dropping the opener.

Jerald Bautista scored from all angles, including three triples, to tally a team-best 21 points through the first three periods.  Despite going scoreless in the fourth, Bautista’s teammates chipped in with Nichole Bangga, Jett Vidal and Paolo Javelona taking turns at leading the Realtors’ offense with Bangga raising the lead to its largest, 69-58.

Overall, the Road Warriors had trouble executing after their top point guards Borgie Hermida (injury) and Pamboy Raymundo (suspension) became unavailable.  SCTEX had no choice but to turn to third stringers AJ Vitug and Michael Calomot with shooter Byron Villarias also bringing up the ball.

Raul Soyud tried to carry SCTEX by himself, unloading 10 of his 28 points in the fourth as they tried to rally but to no avail.  Soyud also grabbed 16 rebounds while Mark Pangilinan was the only other twin digit scorer with 11.

Bautista’s third and final triple gave the Realtors the lead for good early in the third, 42-41, triggering seven straight points more from which the Road Warriors never recovered, 49-41. The best that SCTEX could do was close in with 1:44 remaining, 66-69, but Kent Salado played the role of fireman with a timely triple to snuff the opposition’s hopes of a reversal, 72-66, and 1:32 to go.

While all eyes were laid on the Realtors’ scoring display, Coach Joseph Gumatay credited their defense for the win.  “Our plan was first to always double on Soyud and then we applied our zone defense,” said Coach Gumatay.

Waiting in the wings for the Realtors is second seed Jumbo Plastic.  It will be a rematch of sorts of last December’s Founders Cup semifinals which the Linoleum Giants took in three games en route to the championship.

In the ongoing Chairman’s Cup, the two teams split their elimination round games.  Santa Lucia took the first game, 87-75, but Jumbo recovered in the second round rematch, 80-61.

“I think we match up well with Santa Lucia in all five positions so it will be an entertaining series,” said Jumbo Plastic team manager Coach Horacio Lim.  “While waiting, our practices have been very good and everyone is healthy.”

Game One of the semifinal series will be this Sunday (May 15) at the Malolos Sports and Convention Center.  Tip off will be at 5:00 PM.

How They Scored:

SANTA LUCIA (80) – Bautista 21, Salado 13, Bangga 12, Escosio 8, Vidal 8, Javelona 8, Camasura 5, Ilagan 4, Sanjo 1, Castanarez 0, Jamito 0.

BIYAHENG SCTEX (73) – Soyud 28, Pangilinan 11, Sumalinog 9, Calomot 8, Akomo 6, Villarias 5, Batino 4, Vitug 2, del Rosario 0, Reyes 0.

Period Scores: 18-16, 37-37, 54-50, 80-73.

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About Anthony E. Servinio

A long-time television sportscaster, magazine writer, photographer and college professor from the Philippines finally gives blogging a try after more than a decade of on-line presence. Read on folks!
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